Greetings! It’s certainly has been another challenging year for all of us. Music venues and events gradually started to open, with safety precautions and smaller audiences, while most are still preferring live-stream/zoom options.
My first live music event in more than 18 months was September 30th near Lexington, Kentucky for Billy Dean at The Castle. It was an outside tented venue on the grounds of the boutique hotel. I first met Billy Dean about 20 years ago when I was doing media for Country Thunder in Wisconsin . At this event, I worked his merch table and at the end of the night showed him the money!
The next event October 9th was Chris Vallillo, who performed at the Acorn Coffeehouse’s new location at the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park, IL. Dona Benkert and her volunteers have been presenting the Acorn Coffeehouse since 2014.
Michael Johnathon made a concert stop at Acorn Coffeehouse on November 13. Michael released his new CD The Painter which has been receiving high praise from international reviews. Michael also published his 5th book, WoodSongs 5. Michael recently became the latest recipient of the Mentor Award, presented by Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars, a non-profit organization that supports young aspiring bluegrass musicians through encouragement, excitement, promotion, and awareness for them to preserve yesterday’s bluegrass music for tomorrow. The organization’s president, Larry Smith, surprised Johnathon and his crew during the broadcast taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour on Monday, Nov. 29 at Lexington’s Lyric Theater, which featured an entire lineup of young, aspiring musicians and performers.
Dennis Warner came in from Minnesota on Nov. 19 for a night at the Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove. He performed songs from his music catalog, including his new release Pilot Me.
Mark Dvorak released a 4 song EP called December Songs. Each donation to Music & Potlucks will receive a download. The EP was also offered digitally to DJs. The full CD will be available in 2022.
December 21 was Songwriters in the Round at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, IL. The songs of Jenny Bienemann, D. Anson Brody, and Mark Dvorak were presented. Three varieties of folk music. Great to hear Mark perform two of his original December Songs tracks, “December Waltz” and “Under Mistletoe.” It was great to visit these venues and see friends present their songs in person again.
2021 brought the publishing of my first book, The Interview. Two hundred copies are now in circulation and I thank all of you for your interest and comments! My second book The Troubadour is in editing, and I am currently finishing the third, Swansong.
As of this note, the Pandemic numbers are rising and looks like we may have a rocky start to 2022. Stay safe! May you enjoy the blessings of peace, health and happiness in the New Year!